A travel blog of Ireland, Europe, and New Zealand

TSS Earnslaw

Much of Saturday was taken up with a cruise on the Twin Screw Steamer Earnslaw, the only remaining coal-fired steamship in the Southern Hemisphere. It dates from Edwardian times and was launched in the same year as the Titanic: 1912.

We travelled at a stately speed from the centre of Queenstown to Walter Peak Farm, a distance of perhaps 15km, over 50 minutes, where we were treated to a sumptuous smorgasbord BBQ. The reassuring thump-thump noise of the steam engine plus the thick black smoke takes us back to an era that none of us can actually remember, a time of innocence before the world wars, a time of endless summers. Stop me before I burst into poetry.

“Stands the church clock at ten to three? And is there honey still for tea?”

Waiting to embark.
Gliding by Queenstown.
Disembarking at Walter Peak
The Walter Peak Restaurant
Sumptuous indeed.
The Earnslaw returning for us at 3pm.
And to round off the day, the view from our hotel balcony as the sun sets over Lake Wakatipu.

4 thoughts on “TSS Earnslaw

  1. Sarah

    Looks amazing! (Apart from the clouds of black smoke obviously, but must be quite exciting going on a streamship). Enjoying the blog posts, keep them coming…

  2. Hewitt Harrison

    The ‘Earnslaw’ has been a long-standing attraction of Queesntown as you quite rightly point out – I must admit, though, that I am somewhat amazed that it remains allowed to continue as such. I imagine the Greenies of the community are paid a lot of money (donations to the Party coffers perhaps) to remain silent over the magnificent [?] plume of extraordinarily black ‘smoke’ that is emitted from its funnel in order that it may proceed forwards (or backwards as the case may be…). On the positive side your photos do it proud albeit the one “Disembarking at Walter Peak” encouraged me to look for the prime subjects of this blog – only to be disappointed. Indeed, the photo might better be entitled “Berthed at Walter Peak” as I could no evidence of anyone actually disembarking…..?? (this may well be evidence of my failing eyesight, of course!) I have experienced the delight of cruising on this vessel on a number of occasions – the most memorable (or otherwise…?) being an evening cruise which had a strong party theme associated with it. The strongest memory of that occasion was the difficulty in dealing with the following day…..

  3. Kirsty

    Looks like a brilliant day, wonderful photos as usual and definitely food for thought (and, of course, thought for food (and wine!)) for when we manage to follow in your footsteps and get there ourselves 🙂

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